Pretty Gritty #10

Sunday March 1, 2015

lucid dreaming

Pretty Gritty returns for 2015 with the 10th instalment in which the border between waking states and slumbrous wonder is rendered rather permeable. Matthew Syres launches out solo from his normal gig with the Forenzics creating spontaneous guitar reveries; An Infinity Room challenges time and space with mind-altering dronology; Pia van Gelder channels the mystic soul of her audiovisual machines; and international guest LAFIDKI sends us to the next dimension with his maximal ambient beat hallucinations.


Matthew Syres

Matthew Syres approaches the guitar more as a sound creation device than a traditional musical instrument, using effects, delays and looping to build darkly complex improvised sonic textures informed by noise, post-rock, industrial and soundscape music.

Though new to solo performance, he is a veteran of the Sydney underground music scene, having played with industrial cyberpunks Jekyll Switch, heavy instrumentalists Strange, dark rockers The Real Story and most recently as a founding member of improvising experimentalist quartet Forenzics.

Matthew’s solo musical philosophy is based heavily on the 9 years he’s spent performing improvised music in Forenzics, and that is to play what you feel without limits and boundaries, only that it must be created there and then with no restrictions on genre, texture, format or structure. This fearless and open ended attitude leads to rewarding, unpredictable and ultimately transporting musical journeys for the brave, patient and attentive listener.

An Infinity Room (AIR)

An Infinity Room (AIR) is a study into weight and weightlessness. Artist and composer Julian Day matches vintage synthesizers and follows strict arithmetic patterns to create long tone pieces of shifting intensities. These invisible turbulences in the air articulate the acoustic possibilities of different spaces: galleries, verandahs, laneways and living rooms. The results are densely woven and immersive sound fields reminiscent of La Monte Young, Phill Niblock and Stars of the Lid. AIR has appeared over 40 times in New York, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, The Hague and throughout Australia, appearing at Whitechapel Gallery, Café Oto, National Portrait Gallery (UK), Museum of Contemporary Art, Institute of Modern Art, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, CCAS and Firstdraft. AIR has supported Oval, Marina Rosenfeld and Josef van Wissem and featured at VIVID Sydney, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Totally Huge, SoundOut and First Festival (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, New York).

Pia van Gelder

Pia van Gelder is an electronic artist, curator and teacher. Van Gelder develops performances and installations by working with media machines, both custom built heirloom technologies like the audio-video modular synthesizer, and common electronic devices which are hacked and opened up to perform in ways that negate their use or assumed design. In her recent work she has been interested in presenting opportunities to experience AV mysticism and what she calls ‘machinic affinity’; feelings of closeness to a machine.

Involving methodologies of hacking within her practice at large, Van Gelder also explores interdisciplinary research into theosophy, technology, science, counter-culture histories and DIY pedagogy.

Van Gelder has curated various festivals, art events and exhibitions and has been involved with DIY spaces for the past decade, particularly the Serial Space collective. She is the Overlord of Dorkbot Sydney, a regular meeting for people doing strange things with electricity, whilst lecturing at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW in the School of Media Art.


"Spacy winter lo-fi maximalism hymns and impatient post-pop." Avant Avant

LAFIDKI is Saphy Vong, a sound and visual artist. He’s a French solo musician, currently based in Riga, with a background from Cambodia who is messing around with abstract electronics, noise and sequenced multi-layered rhythms. Playing live is for him always an experiment within the situation of spontaneous thinking and decision-making through the energy of people & space.

He has played alone and in collaboration in places such as Seoul (Yogiga), Helsinki (Myymälä 2), Bangkok (Nospace Gallery), St Petersburg (Erarta Contemporary Art Museum), Pittsburgh (VIA Festival), Minsk (New Ton Fashion Art), Arkaoda (Istanbul), Hong Kong (Strategic sounds). Collaborations include the projects with Leyli, Zack Kouns and Rory hinchey, Dustin Wong (Ecstatic sunshine, Ponytail..) and Dorcelsius.

He also runs the label Steak au zoo records and is an organizer of a concert series for noise, experimental and free music.